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Fuel Subsidy Removal: Obaseki Gives Update On Petrol Price Increase After NEC Meeting

Published by
Oladipo Abiola
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Governor Godwin Obaseki has revealed that no concrete decision has been taken yet by the government over plans to increase the pump price of petrol in Nigeria.

This disclosure is coming amidst reports that Nigerians may soon pay more for petrol after the National Economic Council, NEC, allegedly recommended that petrol pump price should be increased to ₦302 per litre.

Speaking on Thursday after the National Economic Council NEC meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Edo State Governor disclosed however that the council has not reached any final decision on the matter.

Obaseki said consultations are still ongoing on the fuel price/ fuel subsidy removal matter which NEC has been deliberating on for over one year.

He added that the question of whether to continue paying subsidies or not has remained unanswered despite trillions of naira that is constantly going into subsidizing petroleum products in the country.

The Governor further observed that less than one-third of the states consume all the resources put into subsidy.

Obaseki said, “As you all know and are aware of, the issue of subsidy is one matter that NEC has deliberated on for more than a year, it was a NEC recommendation that has been meeting as to what we should do on the cost of premium motor spirit.

“The cost of PMS is about 160 to a litre whereas every other country around Nigeria cost much more.

“We have spent almost 2 trillion subsidizing petroleum products. The issue now is should we continue this regime of money we do not have to continue to subsidize. We realized that less than 1/3 of the states consume all the resources put into subsidy. But NEC has not resolved on anything yet”.

Speaking on the same matter, Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule said despite the signing into law of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which has turned the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC into a limited and the six months time frame for the removal of fuel subsidy as earlier disclosed by the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, the decision can’t be rushed.

Sule pointed out that it is necessary to wait and see how the NNPC which is now a limited liability company will perform.

He added further that it is not up to the State Governors to fix the price of fuel, but a recommendation of a NEC committee headed by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai.

“We all know that PIA is now an Act, so if the Minister of Finance has provided for six months, we have to wait to see how the NNPC which is now a limited liability company will perform, its not the governors that would make that decision,” Sule said.

Meanwhile, former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), on Thursday warned against the increase in the pump price of fuel.

Abubakar while speaking at the 19th Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja warned that the increase will push more Nigerians into poverty.

Published by
Oladipo Abiola